SAMSUNG is building a giant 20,000 square foot show room on Regents Street in the bustling west end of London, according to reports. In a bid to rival Apple, whose flagship store sits just up the road, the store will take residence on the top floor of the Coal Drops Yard mall, a former Victorian coal store, which is still under construction.
According to two Bloomberg sources, the Samsung show room is expected to be just as flashy as the space it has in New York City's Meatpacking district, with a similar design and format. If that's true, the new site won't be a store, but more an experiential show room, something Samsung describes as "a new kind of place filled with ideas, experiences and cutting edge devices".
The sources say the show room won't open until a year's time in October 2018, however, but it's hoped that it will capture the same interest as Apple's Regent Street flagship store. It's also likely to push more mobile devices, such as smartphones, phablets, smartwatches, etc like Apple's store than it is Samsung's home and appliance range.
Microsoft, another tech behemoth looking to rival Apple, has also recently confirmed plans to open a flagship store in London's west end, just around the corner from Regent Street on Oxford Circus (250 feet in fact).
The move will see Microsoft set up shop in the unit currently occupied by United Colours of Benetton, a very popular area with heavy footfall, and well-served by the Oxford Circus Tube station.
While the American firm has recently announced it will no longer be making phones, the store will likely push laptops and tablets with Microsoft's Surface line, aimed at taking down Apple's Macbook Pro.
Nevertheless, the opening of new brick and morter stores by the world's biggest companies can only mean one thing: high street shopping isn't dead.
Much to the predictions of analysts over the last decade that online sales would kill traditional retail, this is proof that consumers do still like to experience real-world shopping as opposed to buying everything virtually via digital retailers like Amazon. µ
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